How to get Files Ready for Prepress

Uploaded by markzwareTV on 19.12.2011

Hi, Everybody! David Dilling from Markzware.
Today's how-to:
How to Get Files Ready for Prepress
Today's how-to is rather generic and can apply to
working in QuarkXPress, or Adobe InDesign or
even, for that matter, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Publisher
How to get files ready for prepress: On one hand, rather straightforward, and on the other
can be complicated.
It's important to understand
your desired output and the checklist of things to do and most importantly not to
when creating this file.
Here in InDesign CS5,
when you make a new file, which is very similar in QuarkXPress
Microsoft Publisher, and CorelDRAW,
we create a new document.
You get asked several questions.
In this case, you can make the file for web or for print.
It's important to choose Print, if you're going to print this document
There are ways to switch a web file into a print file, but it's much easier to start
off right away with the default print settings,
which will come back later, when we export
this file
for use in prepress.
We have done that with this little sample file here,
and I can go ahead and place objects in there
under file place
and I can add all kinds of
native Illustrator files, .psd Photoshop images,
pretty much InDesign images,
but, once again, yeah
we just can't throw everything we want at the printer, it has to be printable.
What you see on on the screen
will print much differently
after it's processed through a RIP
and plates are made and output on the printing press,
or even printed digitally.
There's this great site I found,
which although, in the educational side of things,
it has a great list of
troubleshooting files for print.
And it starts off with general
print trouble solutions,
and then it goes over per
file type, whether it's Adobe Illustrator,
Adobe InDesign,
you see a whole bunch there,
or Photoshop,
and potential errors
that can occur.
It's a relatively recent file and I'll put a link to it
in the movie.
So, you see, there are many
areas in which you can
look out for
when you're creating a file,
and that's where Marksware FlightCheck comes in,
because no matter what you prepare,
you need to ensure that it's going to
output or print
That's exactly what FlightCheck will do,
it'll check not only the resulting
PDF file,
but also
the native
files, the InDesign file, the QuarkXPress file,
the Adobe Illustrator file, the Photoshop file,
to make sure it doesn't have
one of the hundreds of potential errors
that FlightCheck can help stop.
We'll come back to FlightCheck in a moment.
The process
to FlightCheck, or the process of preflighting,
can be done with the eyeball method, as well.
However, as your document grows, the more tedious,
and likely that you won't find the problems anyway with your eyeball, is.
We'll see how FlightCheck works in a moment.
It's very important to ensure that you use high-res imagery,
anywhere between 205 and 305 or higher
for effective resolution,
but you don't want to use
a too high-resolution file if you're
outputting a general newsletter,
or that will just slow down the RIP.
You want to make sure you're using
proper color models for the
output device desired.
You want to make sure you don't use hairlines or you don't use fonts that won't be embeddable.
So, if you're getting this file from a friend or another
graphic designer,
You want to ensure that you have the same fonts.
These and many more are the tips you need to remember when you are creating your file
and what you should check for with FlightCheck before you
your file.
The best way to get files ready for prepress
is to send to the
prepress department, the printer,
a print-ready PDF.
You do that via File Export in Adobe InDesign.
The same applies
in Adobe Illustrator,
QuarkXPress, etc.
You should choose here the format,
"Adobe PDF (Print)". Once again, don't just choose "Adobe PDF (Interactive)".
Choose the Print, the high resolution.
What you'll see when we save this down,
we'll get a set of options
and these options are very important.
You can choose one of the many standards available,
and you want to ask or check with your prepress department
which standard they prefer, if any. In InDesign itself, it comes
preset with a high-quality print.
You can choose the compatibility
for which version of Acrobat it will work with. It gives you more information and a lot of
different things you can check or uncheck,
you know, the list goes on, really and
that's why it's important to check
with your printer, with your prepress department
on exactly
what standard they want to use.
Many will use PDF/X-4
PDF/X-1A. It's still even in use.
And when you choose that, indeed, click Export.
You'll then get a print-ready
or wait...
or will you?
Well, that's where the process of preflight comes in.
Now, let's show you how that works in FlightCheck.
In FlightCheck, the heart of FlightCheck is the Ground Controls.
This is really something you can
set up yourself by using the default settings or
one of the many presets,
but also something your prepress department can help you
set up and share with you. You'll notice the checks are
pretty much what we just discussed. You can check for resolution
to catch any low-res
images that might pass in.
You can check for mode, for instance, you know, RGB color
any different settings for your fonts.
We can check for missing or inactive fonts, non-embedded fonts,
etc., etc.
We'll take one of our many test files here
and just drop it onto the FlightCheck flight strip.
Preflight initiates, and you'll see FlightCheck gathers all relative details,
information on this file, everything linked or
used is reported on:
printer, colors,
trapping, fonts, images, you name it.
The FlightCheck eagle comes back and let's us know it found some problems.
Red are problems. Blue are warnings.
We could tab through and quickly see information,
but of course are main areas are color, fonts, and images,
and that's what we have opened here now.
So, FlightCheck is a way to very quickly
and stop problems before ou export to the PDF,
which we just showed you.
There's also ways to help you through, for instance, the page layout, to go
through the page
or the file,
page by page
and quickly see
used outside the page.
Let's launch that document and go fix it,
or in the case if you have the file open, just cruise back over and you fix the file.
Different file, in this case, but you get how, you see how it would work.
Finally, in FlightCheck, there is a collect feature or
package, which is very important for Illustrator and Photoshop users to
package and collect their work
in those files, but it can also package and preflight, of course, InDesign and Quark files,
as well,
and many other file formats.
It will gather all fonts and images into one folder, even compressing the job,
for sending to the printer, perhaps, or to other parties.
To get your files ready for prepress,
may mean sending the entire made-over, open file.
So, you see, you might need to send this entire InDesign file with used fonts, used images,
to the next party to work further on it,
or to your colleague across the hall.
This way, they know for sure they have all the elements,
and then get everything on their system
independently working very quickly.
Another great feature of FlightCheck, the package or collect job.
That way, when you're back into the
InDesign file, in this case, and you do the "File Export to PDF",
you'll know for sure this file
will now
be 100% print ready.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Pre flight first with FlightCheck, then export to PDF.
That's how to get files ready for prepress the professional way.
Oh, by the way,
here we are back in the Ground Controls in FlightCheck.
We can also check the resulting PDF with FlightCheck, which is stand alone and doesn't need
to have Acrobat or InDesign on this machine.
So, it's a great wit tool for anybody to use in graphic arts, whether you're in the
administration side,
the selling side,
the receiving side, even the prepress side, but definitely as a graphic designer
side, you're supposed to
check your files before you make the PDF and
after, but watch this.
The Ground Controls in FlightCheck
will switch
automatically to the PDF
Ground Controls.
So, FlightCheck is smart enough to see that it's a PDF file and switches the checks to
be 100% PDF
The pair might be able to fix many of these,
but it's best to take matters into your own hand.
For instance,
the printer can't make a low-res image
You need to correct that yourself.
Place the proper high-res file
in the native InDesign file,
before you export to PDF.
There are a host of other tips, of course, I've oversimplified this process,
but, in general,
if you use tools
like FlightCheck
to act as a checklist, communicate with the prepress department or printer to
know what the check for, or what to have on your checklist, creating a print-ready file is
not all that difficult.
So, when you do a File Export,
you'll know for sure that
that file
is going to be 100% ready for printing.
For more information on FlightCheck,
just go over to
and you can even downloaded a free 30-day trial version yourself.
Under the articles section, there's a great article on how to create a clean
PDF with Markzware FlightCheck. Here, you'll read about Wild Pete Publishing.
Now, they use FlightCheck pretty much religiously
to check all files before generating PDFs for their
really a great article on why FlightCheck
and how important it is.
I'll put a link to this down below in the more information section, as well.
Thank you. This is David Dilling from Markzware
on how to get files ready for prepress.